LADYBUG SIGHTING: On our sliding glass door yesterday.
My goal is always to have everything ready for Christmas by the last day of school for this year (which was today) and I met the deadline.
The Christmas tree is up, and the dark-haired angel who sits atop it is holding a giant (for her) candy cane in her arms.
The Christmas cards have gone out. I never like doing them. And no, I do not do those newsletters. The fact that I made it through another year without getting my picture on the evening news accompanied by the voiceover, "If you've seen this woman, authorities ask that you call the number at the bottom of your screen," is the only accomplishment worth bragging about, and all any of my long lost relatives need to know.
My Christmas shopping--as opposed to Mr. Lucky's--is done. I know he's already bought stuff for me, but he still likes to go out at the last minute and buy more stuff.
Earlier this week, I did all the Christmas shopping accompanied by Mr. Lucky. I know I said I needed to be on my own, but darn it, now that he's been retired from the military for almost a year, I've grown accustomed to having him with me on trips to the Great Shopping Vortex. I actually welcomed his company.
After Baby Bear boarded his school bus, we went out to breakfast at the Village Inn, then headed for the GSV. We decided to start with the mall, and work our way outward. At the mall we split up, agreeing to meet at the carousel near the food court. During this time, I would be spending money on my husband, while he would be spending money on me and the boys.
It wasn't as crowded as I expected, perhaps because it was a weekday morning. But I was totally creeped out by some of the vendors who have booths or carts down the middle of the mall's length. They were unusually aggressive, accosting me with either a spray bottle, brochure, or a tray of UFO's (Unidentifiable Food Objects) stabbed with toothpicks. They wanted to sell me makeovers, scents, lotions and potions, vinyl siding (I didn't pause to ask if it was for me or my house), and the secret of happiness. I actually thought one of them was going to grab me--and she wasn't some old hag with a basket of poisoned apples, either, but a skinny young thing with a bottle of snake oil.
I nearly freaked out. All I could do was keep walking, and fortunately, perhaps because I'm very tall, I walk with long, swift strides. My husband is always exhorting me to "slow down" and "wait up." I was relieved to meet up with him again, and he said he'd been similarly bombarded.
We fled the mall for Toys-R-Us, where Mr. Lucky drooled over an officially licensed Star Wars light saber. It lit up and made the same noise as the ones in the movies, but we would've had to buy two to have any fun with them, and just one was too expensive.
Baby Bear already has a fire truck, but Mr. Lucky considered buying him another until I pointed out it came with a real water cannon.
It's bad enough that kid is always spraying water from the sink, drinking water and then spitting it everywhere like a human fountain, flooding half the house and generally trying to turn the whole place into his own personal water park. The last thing he needs is a toy to help him do it.
Then my husband came across a huge box full of "shake and go" car characters from the Disney/Pixar movie Cars. According to the packaging, all you have to do to make these cars run is shake them up, but they're a lot more sensitive than that. Mr. Lucky had only to start sifting through the assortment of little vehicles to rev them up and make them talk with catch-phrases from the movie. That whole big box came alive with noisy toy cars, drawing everyone's attention as he picked out some cars for Bear.
With all our purchases loaded into the minivan, we headed home. Every time my husband made a sharp turn, put on the brakes, or stepped on the gas, the little cars in the plastic bag in the back seat revved up, they were that sensitive to movement. Most hilarious was The Sheriff, a police car. The Sheriff would either holler, "You can't run from the law!" or "Son, you're in a heap o' trouble!"--and the police siren would go off. Every time that happened, my husband glanced in the rearview mirror, thinking he was about to be pulled over for something.
Once we were home, the cars continued to chatter as I carried the bags into the house.
Yesterday I spent three solid hours wrapping presents for Mr. Lucky, the Crown Prince, and Baby Bear. Those cars made a lot of noise as I wrapped them.
But I'm ready. Now all I can do is hope I've been good this year. I'll find out Christmas morning.